Empire, MI, USA

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Empire, MI, USA

Empire vacation rentals

Empire is a charming lakeshore town

Nestled on the eastern shore of mighty Lake Michigan, the enchanting small town of Empire is the gateway to the jaw-dropping Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Visitors from far and wide flock to this blissfully unspoiled national park to stroll along its soft, sandy beaches, clamber up its undulating sand dunes, and take in panoramic vistas. Empire's charmingly compact downtown area is a pleasure to wander around, with treasure-filled antiques and gift shops to explore, and an array of friendly, family-run eateries to try out. Empire vacation rentals range from cozy cottages to luxurious family houses, so you're sure to find something to suit all your requirements.

Sand dune climbing and deep-sea diving in Empire

The Sleeping Bear Dunes are a haven for outdoor enthusiasts of all persuasions. Top of the agenda for many is an energizing scramble up the mighty, wind-blown dunes themselves. At the top you'll be rewarded with stunning views of the verdant, forested shores of Glen Lake. Run or roll back down to the bottom, and you can enjoy a family picnic whilst marveling at the region's breathtaking rugged beauty. In the warm summer months, the sandy shores and crystal-clear waters of Lake Michigan are ideal for sunbathing, swimming, kayaking, and fishing. And within easy reach lies the mesmerizing Manitou Passage Underwater Preserve, a hotspot for shipwreck diving.

Empire's perfectly-preserved history

You'll find a host of attractions near your Empire vacation rental. If you're looking to get a handle on local history, or simply need a break from the sun, the Empire Area Museum is a must. This charming complex offers a colorful trip back in time, with meticulous recreations of a 1-room schoolhouse and a Victorian saloon, and some beautifully restored antique vehicles. A short drive or bracing morning hike away lies the tranquil historic port village of Glen Haven. Soak up the retro vibe of the beguiling General Store, and treat yourself to one of their famous, freshly baked cinnamon rolls. Then learn all about the region's nautical history at the engrossing Cannery Boathouse Museum.

Enjoy all the seasons in Empire

The summer months form Empire's peak visitor season. Days are long, sunny, warm, and generally dry. Naturally, Empire vacation rentals are in high demand during this period, so it's a good idea to book well in advance. Spring and fall are also great times to visit. Fresher temperatures make strenuous hikes and bike rides more enjoyable, whilst the changing foliage ensures an abundance of natural spectacle. You'll need to wrap up warm if you're visiting in winter, but plenty of snowfall transforms the region into a hotspot for cross-country skiing.

Animal encounters near Empire

Empire sits amidst a diverse ecosystem which will captivate nature lovers. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore is home to an abundance of animals, such as white-tailed deer, spritely red foxes, and adorable otters. Birdwatchers are also in for a treat. Keep an ear out for songbirds like warblers and thrushes, and your eyes peeled for majestic bald eagles, hawks, and great horned owls.